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Monday, January 21, 2013

Rotenberg Update

The Canton Citizen reports:
In testimony submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, state Senator Brian A. Joyce has requested that the agency ban the use of all graduated electronic decelerators (GEDs), or skin shock devices, which are currently being used to administer electric shocks to disabled children at the Canton-based Judge Rotenberg Center.
The FDA had notified the center in May 2011 that alterations made to the devices required FDA approval. After the JRC failed to adequately respond to the notice, according to Joyce, the FDA sent a second letter in June 2012. When the JRC again failed to comply, the FDA sent a third notice in December 2012, calling for a meeting between the two sides to ensure that the facility ceases use of the non-compliant devices.
Joyce, a longstanding critic of the JRC and its practices, submitted testimony requesting that the FDA forbid the school from using the GED devices on their students from this point forward.
From the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network:
The Alliance to Prevent Restraint, Aversive Interventions, and Seclusions (APRAIS), in collaboration with ASAN and other disability advocacy organizations, has drafted the following letter to the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, as well as the Centers for Medicaid and CHIP Services and Medicare and Medicaid Services.
As many of our organizations have made numerous requests in the past related to our concerns for the health, safety, and welfare of the young people in the care of the Judge Rotenberg Center in Massachusetts, the undersigned write to you with a renewed call for action; the immediate and complete cessation of funding for the Center considering the US Food and Drug Administration’s recent Warning Letter dated December 6, 2012.
The FDA’s letter dated December 6, 2012—the third warning letter to the Judge Rotenberg Center in 19 months—cites the Judge Rotenberg Center for violations of FDA regulations due to its ongoing modifications to the Graduated Electronic Decelerators. These modifications have consistently increased the allowable voltage used to shock patients. In the hands of Judge Rotenberg Center staff, these GED devices deliver brutal electric shocks to young people. It is important to note that the Judge Rotenberg Center is not only the only facility in the United States to use such a device; the Judge Rotenberg Center is also the sole manufacturer of this machine.